In the name of God, Amen. I Obediah Simson, of the Township of Cramahe, County of Northumberland, District of Newcastle and Province of Upper Canada, being weak in body but of sound and perfect mind and memory, blessed be Almighty God for the same, do make and exhibit this my last will and testament in manner and form following, that is to say:
First I do will and order that within the space of one month after my decease that there be an Inventory taken singular of all my lands and tenements, house and lot, goods and moveable estate, and that all my lawful debts be paid out of it, and further I do will and order that within two months after my decease there been equal division made of all and every of my household furniture, farming utensils, stock and moveable, or what so ever name or nature between John Simson, Jeremiah Simson, Obediah Simson, Polly Simson, Benjamin Simson and Deborah Simson, all my true and lawful children, and that John Simson come in full possession of his part at the time of division and that the Executors whom I shall hereafter name shall take of the other children's part and deliver it to them as they arrive at the age of twenty-one years for the sons and daughters at the age of eighteen years of age, and further I do will and order that my son John Simson be and remain in full possession of all my lands and tenements until my son Jeremiah Simson arrives at the age of twenty-one years of age, then my son John Simson shall give up to my son Jeremiah Simson his share of the lands and tenements as be appraised by indifferent man, and so in like manner it shall be given up to my sons Obediah and Benjamin Simson when they arrive at the age of twenty-one years of age, and in like manner to Polly and Deborah Simson whenever they shall arrive at the age of eighteen years old to be done without waste or damage of what so ever kind or nature, and further I do hereby nominate and appoint John Simson, Benjamin Richardson, Esquire, Joel Merriman and Jonathan Greeley sole Executors of this my last will and testament, hereby revoking all former wills by me made, in witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and seal this Eighteenth day of January in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and nine.
Signed, sealed and published
and declared by the above
named Obediah Simson to be
his last will and testament
in the presence of us who have
herunto subscribed our names
as witnesses in the presence of
Filed in the office 7 Oct 1809T. Ward, Registrar
This is the earliest known document that was written by a Simpson. It is interesting to note that the 'P' has disappeared from the name. Somewhere along the line, it has reappeared. Whether or not this was intentional is unknown. However, it is my personal belief that, since Obediah was undoubtedly unable to read or write, and unlikely even to know how to spell his own name, the various spellings appear to be at the whims of those composing the documents.
It is also interesting to note that the girls had only to wait until their 18th birthday to receive their portions of the estate while the boys were required to wait until they were 21. The reason for this is also unknown, though I tend to believe that, since females often married at the age of 14 and that boys often were fathers by the age of 16, the reasoning simply seemed to 'go with the flow'. It may possibly have been an attempt by Obediah to keep the family together by offering free land to the husbands when their wives reached eighteen.
Finally, the fact that Obediah showed no 'favouritism' to his children is quite unusual as it was often the norm for the eldest child to receive the 'lion's share' of the family fortune, if not the entire estate.
If nothing else, Obediah Simpson appears to have been innovative.
Obediah Simpson Introduction
Obediah Simpson Estate Inventory
Obediah Simpson Genealogy page
Cairn to be Erected...
Simpson Cairn Unveiled
Simpson Cairn Decorated
For Genealogical correspondence concerning Obediah Simpson, please
Email Allan Simpson at firstname.lastname@example.org.